Illinois Democratic governor nominee mum on details for his proposed pension bailout tax hike

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Illinois Democratic governor nominee mum on details for his proposed pension bailout tax hike

[cap­tion id=“attachment_104350” align=“alignright” width=“281”] Illi­nois bicen­ten­nial flag on bottom[/caption]

By John Ruberry

We are a nation that has a gov­ern­ment — not the other way around. And this makes us spe­cial among the nations of the Earth.“
First pres­i­den­tial inau­gural address from Ronald Rea­gan, who was born in Illinois.

As a result, Illi­nois gov­ern­ment is a mas­sive retire­ment sys­tem that, dur­ing work hours, also offers some ser­vices.“
Chicago Tri­bune on Illi­nois’ pen­sion sys­tem.

Last sum­mer the Democratic-​dominated Illi­nois Gen­eral Assem­bly, over­rid­ing a veto from Repub­li­can gov­er­nor Bruce Rauner, slugged Illi­noisans with a 32 per­cent hike in the state income tax.

The Demo­c­ra­tic nom­i­nee for gov­er­nor, bil­lion­aire JB Pritzker, favors another tax increase. This phony, in a suc­cess­ful ploy to decrease prop­erty taxes on his Chicago man­sion, pur­chased a neigh­bor­ing man­sion, dis­con­nected its toi­lets, then in an assess­ment appeal, received his tax cut because the palace next door was “uninhabitable.”

Wel­come to ILL-​inios.

Rauner barely won the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion in last month’s pri­mary over a little-​known and little-​funded insur­gent con­ser­v­a­tive, Jeanne Ives, in a thor­oughly dis­hon­est cam­paign. I backed Ives. As for Prtizker, he comes with addi­tional bag­gage, includ­ing embar­rass­ing record­ings of FBI-​wiretapped phone con­ver­sa­tions with now-​imprisoned for­mer gov­er­nor Rod Blago­je­vich, which is the only rea­son why he is not the pro­hib­i­tive favorite to wipe the floor with Rauner in Novem­ber. Still, it’s likely that a Gov­er­nor JB is in the future for the Prairie State.

Illi­nois is bro­ken and broke. It might not have the worst-​funded pub­lic pen­sion sys­tem among the states, but it’s so close to the bot­tom it doesn’t really mat­ter. Illi­nois House speaker – “speaker for life” – Michael Madi­gan (D-​Chicago), with some Repub­li­can help, trans­formed Illi­nois’ pen­sion sys­tem into a gen­er­ous polit­i­cal reward in exchange for sup­port from public-​sector unions. Illi­nois’ bud­get ded­i­cates 25 per­cent of spend­ing on state worker pen­sions. In Wis­con­sin that amount is 16 per­cent. Okay, that doesn’t seem like much, but Wisconsin’s pen­sion plan is 100 per­cent funded, Illi­nois is at a pal­try 35 percent.

Bad times have arrived in Illi­nois – with worse times com­ing. For the last three years Illi­nois has suf­fered from neg­a­tive pop­u­la­tion growth.

It’s hard to see how Illi­nois won’t be able to avoid some sort of default.

Pritzker favors a “tem­po­rary” income tax increase until a grad­u­ated tax rate is put in place. But for that to get enacted the state con­sti­tu­tion must be amended. That requires three-​fifths of both houses of the Gen­eral Assem­bly to approve it and a major­ity of Illi­nois vot­ers to go along. Even in blue Illi­nois those are tall hur­dles, espe­cially since a “Prtizker amend­ment” will be viewed, rightly, by vot­ers as a pen­sion bailout amendment.

Of course Pritzker is vague about rates for both that “tem­po­rary” tax plan and the grad­u­ated one. Of course with the lat­ter one, only “the rich” will pay more.

We’ve heard that lie before.

In regards to local gov­ern­ment, some pen­sion plans, espe­cially in Chicago, are in even worse shape.

The Illi­nois exo­dus will continue.

John Ruberry is a fifth-​generation Illi­noisan who is eye­ing the exit ramp while blog­ging at Marathon Pun­dit.

Illinois bicentennial flag on bottom

By John Ruberry

“We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth.”
First presidential inaugural address from Ronald Reagan, who was born in Illinois.

“As a result, Illinois government is a massive retirement system that, during work hours, also offers some services.”
Chicago Tribune on Illinois’ pension system.

Last summer the Democratic-dominated Illinois General Assembly, overriding a veto from Republican governor Bruce Rauner, slugged Illinoisans with a 32 percent hike in the state income tax.

The Democratic nominee for governor, billionaire JB Pritzker, favors another tax increase. This phony, in a successful ploy to decrease property taxes on his Chicago mansion, purchased a neighboring mansion, disconnected its toilets, then in an assessment appeal, received his tax cut because the palace next door was “uninhabitable.”

Welcome to ILL-inios.

Rauner barely won the Republican nomination in last month’s primary over a little-known and little-funded insurgent conservative, Jeanne Ives, in a thoroughly dishonest campaign. I backed Ives. As for Prtizker, he comes with additional baggage, including embarrassing recordings of FBI-wiretapped phone conversations with now-imprisoned former governor Rod Blagojevich, which is the only reason why he is not the prohibitive favorite to wipe the floor with Rauner in November. Still, it’s likely that a Governor JB is in the future for the Prairie State.

Illinois is broken and broke. It might not have the worst-funded public pension system among the states, but it’s so close to the bottom it doesn’t really matter. Illinois House speaker–“speaker for life”–Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), with some Republican help, transformed Illinois’ pension system into a generous political reward in exchange for support from public-sector unions. Illinois’ budget dedicates 25 percent of spending on state worker pensions. In Wisconsin that amount is 16 percent. Okay, that doesn’t seem like much, but Wisconsin’s pension plan is 100 percent funded, Illinois is at a paltry 35 percent.

Bad times have arrived in Illinois–with worse times coming. For the last three years Illinois has suffered from negative population growth.

It’s hard to see how Illinois won’t be able to avoid some sort of default.

Pritzker favors a “temporary” income tax increase until a graduated tax rate is put in place. But for that to get enacted the state constitution must be amended. That requires three-fifths of both houses of the General Assembly to approve it and a majority of Illinois voters to go along. Even in blue Illinois those are tall hurdles, especially since a “Prtizker amendment” will be viewed, rightly, by voters as a pension bailout amendment.

Of course Pritzker is vague about rates  for both that “temporary” tax plan and the graduated one. Of course with the latter one, only “the rich” will pay more.

We’ve heard that lie before.

In regards to local government, some pension plans, especially in Chicago, are in even worse shape.

The Illinois exodus will continue.

John Ruberry is a fifth-generation Illinoisan who is eyeing the exit ramp while blogging at Marathon Pundit.